Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson will be fighting on even ground when it comes to their testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), this Saturday night. Both Fighters have been approved for the use of the controversial therapy by Brazil’s governing body.
Whether or not they are on even ground with the rest of the UFC roster is up for debate.
This is especially debatable when it comes to “The Phenom”, who hasn’t fought in the U.S. in over 2 years. If you include the upcoming fight with Henderson, his last 3 fights have all gone down inside his home country of Brazil. Critics are quick to suggest that this is the UFC’s way of allowing Belfort to skirt the testosterone limits put into place by stateside commissions – limits that were put into place, after a positive drug test (against Henderson, no less) in 2006. A claim that Dana White has strongly denied, stating the fact that Vitor is a huge draw in Brazil, and that it’s just “good business” to have him main event those cards.
Henderson for his part has been a lot more cooperative, when it comes to his use of TRT. For his fight against Rashad Evans for instance, which took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, he pulled his application to use TRT when it looked as if it might not be approved. Henderson ended up losing that fight by split decision, which was his second straight defeat via split call, after a loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157. Before those losses, “Hendo” was riding a four-fight win streak, including a win over the legendary Fedor Emelianenko, and the unforgettable win against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Henderson has also never failed a drug test.
Vitor is coming off 2 straight “knockout of the night” wins, both scored via headkicks, and has won nine of his past eleven fights, with the only losses coming in title fights to Jon Jones and Anderson Silva. What part his therapy plays in those wins is hard to quantify, but it will be interesting to see how Belfort performs without it… if we ever see him stateside again, that is.
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